Writing not on the wall for Screen Cinema

Dublin City Council to investigate why landmark neon sign removed without notice

The Screen’s distinctive neon sign, which was a familiar part of the city’s landscape before its removal. Photograph: Frank Miller

Dublin City Council says it will investigate why a landmark neon sign on a Dublin cinema was removed without notice.

The Screen Cinema on Townsend Street is now without its distinctive neon sign which had become an familiar part of the city’s landscape.

In recent months the handwritten-style sign had fallen into disrepair, with many of its letters no longer working.

The new front of the Screen cinema on Townsend Street. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

IMC, which owns the Screen cinema, recently refurbished the building's interior, and a spokesperson for the company said it took the "very tough decision" to replace the sign. The original sign had been repaired numerous times and was now "beyond repair".

Original sign
The company consulted Felix Elmore, whose father designed the original sign, and a replacement had been costed "in the thousands".


The company decided to replace it entirely as it felt the half-working sign gave the impression the cinema “had been neglected”. It did not seek planning permission from Dublin City Council.

The council says replacement of signage “does not always require planning permission” but its planning enforcement section would be investigating this case.